Celebrity Sandwich: Karen Martini's Roast chicken roll

Photo: Chef Karen Martini in her kitchen

The world’s favourite snack has been taken to a new level in lockdown. In 2020, we partnered with Victoria Together to create Celebrity Sandwich, a 10-part DIY video series which captured some of Melbourne’s best chefs whipping up their favourite sandwiches in their own kitchens.

In this episode, Karen Martini pumps up the volume on her super deluxe roast chicken roll complete with paprika onion rings.

Ingredients

  • Four rolls or half a ciabatta, split
  • Half a well-seasoned roast chicken, the meat pulled from the bones and mixed with about half the skin – roughly 650g
  • 250g thick mayonnaise
  • 100ml plain yoghurt
  • 2½ tsp green Tabasco sauce
  • 1½ tsp salt flakes
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, finely crushed (I grate mine on a Microplane)
  • ½ tbs white vinegar
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • Half a bunch of dill, finely picked and lightly chopped so it is still fluffy
  • A quarter of a bunch of parsley leaves, finely cut
  • Some small yellow leaves from the heart of a bunch of celery, torn
  • 5 spring onions, the white part finely sliced into rounds
  • Half a bunch of watercress
  • A quarter of an iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • The cooking juices leftover from roasting the chicken

Fried onion rings

  • 3 brown or white salad onions peeled and sliced in 2cm-thick rings
  • 600mls of buttermilk (or milk with a squeeze of lemon juice added to it)
  • 100g fine polenta, 300g plain flour and a tsp flaked sea salt, mixed
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 tsp flaked salt extra, to season the rings after they’re cooked
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (I’ve used smoked paprika, optional)
  • Sour cream, to serve (optional)

Method

Mix the mayonnaise, Tabasco, yoghurt, lemon juice, white vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and spring onion.

Add the shredded warm chicken, celery leaves and herbs. Combine all of this very well and try it. This mix should taste awesome. Add more salt, pepper, lemon, and/or Tabasco to adjust it to your liking.

Butter the inside of your bread roll well on both sides, and spoon in some of the cooking juices of the chicken. Fill the bread with a little lettuce and watercress leaves and add the chicken. Garnish with a little extra watercress. You’re good to go, but it’s even better with onion rings.

Fried onion rings

Soak the cut onion rings in the buttermilk (an hour is good, but you can also leave them overnight).

Drain the onion rings. Dust them liberally in the flour and semolina mix.

Working a few rings at a time in batches so you the pan doesn’t get crowded, fry the onions in hot oil until they’re golden, about four minutes (I’ve used about 10cm of oil at about 170C; take care when frying – the oil may spit). Keep the cooked rings warm on paper towel while you fry the others.

Season the fried rings with salt and dust with paprika. Pile the rings on top of your hot roll and, if you like a fancy flourish, secure them with a skewer.

"This the sort of sandwich I imagine eating when you’ve just come off the beach and you’re starving. It’s simple but crammed with fresh herbs, the crunch of lettuce, warm roast chicken, and the dressing that backs it all up."

 

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